true risk, we would not see the giant write-downs. >> such idyllic scenes of terror little resemblance to the country's financial situation. the economy may not be in ruins, but it has taken a battering. in may, they downgraded -- downgraded agree to that. doing its bit by pushing a tough austerity measures through parliament. but the ratings agencies have remained unimpressed. from the top rating all the way down to a d rating for bankruptcy, the agencies have made headlines by assigning each of status to a number of european countries. some economists believe they have gone too far. >> they're certainly making the crisis worse. we're now seeing the contagion that many people have warned us of.